That’s me in a moment with my homemade apple & spice juice :)
No, I didn’t always drink pressed vegetable and fruit juice, nor did I always make it on my own. But now I do. It’s part of my routine. And no, I definitely don’t expect that to be a part of everyone else’s routine. That would be nuts. I found what works for me. This is something that comes easy and is now necessary. I crave it and it makes me feel good. I don’t stress if I go a day or a few days without it, but when my body gets that feeling that it’s out of balance and nothing but a green juice can cure me, that’s when I bring out the juicer and press it. That, to me, is a healthy habit.
Habits. For the most part habits seem to be created without even trying. Seemingly again, we appear to generate unhealthy habits quite easily. It’s the healthy habits that don’t seem to want to stick.
You know the drill. Whenever life gets to be too busy, the first things to go out of whack are eating and exercise habits. Somehow, all your to-do’s become bigger than they actually are and take up more time and headspace for you to actually focus. The reality is you’re simply adjusting to a change in your routine while (potentially) learning a new task. Anything new takes more time and space to accomplish, but also seems stressful, so you figure diet can wait and you can just consume pre-made or packaged food instead.
This is okay in the short-term, but realistically this isn’t sustainable long-term. And once off track it’s hard to get back on the straight and narrow again. This is where myself and other practitioners can come in to help.
I’m certainly not always able to control this in my own life either. I’ve learned it takes practice to keep up good habits, because the “bad” ones are more reliable and easy to maintain, especially when you’re first trying to change them. I have, however, been able to stay much closer to the straight and narrow than I’ve expected I could over the years. It just took time and patience, and discovering what really served me in a positive way. I also got real with myself and had to ask some hard questions that I think can help you when evaluating and executing your dream health habits, the things that are gnawing away at you to have a place in your life.
Here it is…
Whenever I heard myself say, “I’m too busy”, I’d ask myself, “How busy am I, really?”.
Which would lead me to get real with myself and notice where I was wasting time by putting energy into things that weren’t serving me. When entrenched in a task I’d ask, “Is this a good use of my time?” and “What do I really want to be doing instead? What’s most important to me?”. (Note: This will shift over time with whatever state your life is in. Priorities are not set in stone and they take time and effort to notice and step into).
STEP INTO THE SHIFT
While noticing importance in my life, I’d realize I was a person who was, to a degree, set in her ways. I had habits whether I liked them or not, routines that developed over time based on what was easy, familiar, and self-serving, but I was craving change. “How will I make sure this change becomes a new habit?” was another question I found myself pondering when I wanted to set a new habit in stone. What I discovered was that just starting something without thinking too much helped get me to the place where a foreign task, like trying new recipes, became second nature. It was the fear of the unknown that held me back.
What helped this along was a lot was consistency. Once I started and I realized how easy it was to create something new, I couldn’t stop. This wasn’t a smooth process, though. I had a few failures along the way, growth points if you will. In these moments, I had to ask myself “How can I push through and keep going?”, remembering just why I started along this path in the first place.
RELY ON ACCOUNTABILITY
When all else failed, I always had someone asking me how things were going or watching me eat every day, knowing when I was on or off track with my health goals. To be clear, I was naturally going through a change that my body was craving. I was ready, I had to be in order to make change at the pace I was keeping. I didn’t ask people to keep me on track or even have set health goals in mind. I just knew I wanted to eat cleaner, cook more, enhance my cooking skills, and feel better. I was loving it and the people around me noticed, which is why they asked me how things were progressing, inadvertently helping me stay on track. The point is that accountability will always be there when you show up. Ask for more help when times get hard and it’ll be there for you.
My best advice is to try a few things until you see what sticks, like the fun method of testing the doneness of spaghetti noodles. Almost without effort, you’ll begin to notice what comes easy. You’ll also notice what’s super frustrating that you’re trying to force, that maybe doesn’t need to become a habit at all. The more frustrating something is the more of a negative effect it can have in the long run, no matter how “healthy” it may be touted to be.
Be mindful. Think about how to stay happy and excited in the process. Do the things that turn you on in the kitchen, seriously. Whatever feels easy and makes you feel fantastic, stick to that for as long as it feels good to do so.